Art16, Olympia London

Art16, Olympia London

Following its inaugural edition in 2013, this dynamic art fair has become a highlight of London’s cultural calendar, launching the summer season with a variety of international artists and galleries from over 30 countries worldwide. Held at Olympia London from 20-22 May, Art16 will present a total of 1000 pieces from diverse locations such as Senegal, South Korea, Cuba and the Czech Republic. Opening with the Collectors’ Preview and First Night on Thursday 19 May, this year’s instalment is set to bring together buyers, artists, gallerists and enthusiasts from all corners of the world.

Founded by Tim Etchells and Sandy Angus, also the original founders of ART HK, the fair has attracted thousands of visitors to its London location. In 2015, the fair drew audiences of 24,000 visitors with an extensive programme of over 150 galleries from 40 countries. Seeing its return in 2016, Art16 boasts three exhibiting sections: Galleries, Emerge, and London First. Galleries, the most extensive section, welcomes established modern and contemporary galleries with a history of exhibited works by international artists. Participants this year include Modern Art Oxford; Pearl Lam Galleries, China, Hong Kong, Singapore; Parasol Unit, London; and Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh; October Gallery, London, and  among others.

Curated by Jonathan Watkins, Director of the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and former curator of the Serpentine Gallery, London, special section Emerge provides visitors with a view into the next generation of emerging talent, from markets to galleries and artists. All exhibitors are under six years of age, and will display either solo or dual artist presentations. Lastly, London First is a platform for galleries under 10 years old who have never exhibited in London before.

Also included in Art16’s programme is Not-for-Profit, a unique stage for major galleries such as The Wallace Collection, UK; Villa Lena, Italy; Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Iraq; Royal Academy of the Arts, UK; and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium, to promote new projects and commissions. This will be accompanied by the fair’s Public Programme of Talks, Tours and Screenings.

Scheduled talks include topics such as Art & Identity; Art & Women; and Breaking Boundaries: Cross-Fertilisation, while Christie’s Education provides a series of free public tours. Finally, special screenings of Robert Davies’s Of Time and the Railway, presented by GBS Fine Art, will be showcased throughout the weekend. The film captures the changing human geography adjacent to the railway track between the industrial West Midlands and mid/ west Wales.

Art16, 20-22 May, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX.

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1. El Anatsui, Warrior, 2015. Aluminium and copper wire, 315 x 350 cm. photo: Jonathan Greet. Presented by October Gallery.